The beaches of the Costa del Sol are one of the main tourist destinations of the south of Spain. Its beaches bathed by the Mediterranean Sea, the mild climate, delicious gastronomy that characterises the area and the hospitality of its people make this region one of the most popular all year round.
The more than 150 km of coastline belonging to the province of Malaga offers visitors beautiful, quiet beaches and some high quality beaches for swimmers, which have been awarded the Blue Flag, given to beaches of the highest quality and best services for the public.
For those wanting to lose themselves along the roads that border the Costa del Sol coastline and enjoy its climate and incredible landscapes, the best option is to hire a convertible car at Malaga airport. That way, they can travel every kilometre, feeling the sea breeze on their face and the sun’s rays on the back of their neck.
The beaches of the Costa del Sol central area
The area surrounding Malaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol, is one of the most visited by tourists, offering leisure, culture, monuments and coast. These are some of the best beaches of the Costa del Sol near its capital.
The capital of the Costa del Sol boasts an extensive cultural offer, with more than thirty Malaga museums and monuments that echo the passing of time, including the Alcazaba, Roman Theatre (Teatro Romano) or the Encarnation Cathedral (Catedral de la Encarnación). Among Malaga’s best beaches, we can find the urban beaches of La Malagueta, La Caleta or La Misericordia, which are easy to access on foot or using public transport as they are located within the city.
At these beaches, visitors will be able to find plenty of beach bars (chiringuitos) where they can enjoy fresh fish, typical dishes and some of the best paellas in Malaga. On the other hand, those looking for a quiet beach should head towards the outskirts, where they will find less crowded beaches like El Palo or Guadalmar.
Find out more information about the services and condition of these beaches in our post about Malaga’s beaches.
Beaches of Torremolinos
The beaches of Torremolinos start on the border with Malaga and are popular thanks to their atmosphere which is brimming with life. One of the most popular beaches in this town and with a privileged location between the best beaches of the Costa del Sol are El Bajondillo Beach and La Carihuela Beach, urban beaches with all types of services, food outlets, hammock hire and water activities.
For those looking for a livelier atmosphere, Los Álamosbeach has the area’s most popular beach bars (chiringuitos) and beach clubs of Torremolinos. On the border between Torremolinos and Benalmadena, we can also find the popular Fuente de la Salud Beach, one of the beaches that boasts the Blue Flag award.
You can discover these and other beaches in our article about the best beaches of Torremolinos.
Beaches of Benalmadena
Continuing with the beaches along the Costa del Sol as we move towards the west, the area of Benalmadena also offers some of the best beaches in the region. Fuente de la Salud Beach is the one that borders Torremolinos next to Puerto Marina, and continuing towards the area of Mijas, we come across the beaches of Torrebermeja, Santa Ana and Bil Bil, three urban beaches with all types of features to spend a full day as a family.
Arroyo de la Miel Beach also stands out with a stunning seafront promenade and holds the Blue Flag award. Its calm waters make this a perfect destination to relax with little ones by the sea. Another of the Costa del Sol’s best beaches in Benalmadena is Belnatura, a nudist beach with a chilled atmosphere in a rocky setting and surrounded by cliffs that are its main attraction. For those looking for somewhere away from the crowds, Las Yucas beach is the best option.
Beaches of Mijas
The beaches of the Costa del Sol that are possibly the least known of the area are those in Cala de Mijas. One of its best kept treasures is La Cala Beach, with clean and crystal clear waters, although Butibamba or Butiplaya beach, with the Blue Flag awards and lively party atmosphere are great for those looking to have fun.
Ending the route towards the area in the west, we reach Fuengirola. One of its most famous beaches is El Castillo Beach, with the popular Sohail castle standing behind it, where many concerts are held. This beach allows dogs and has a car parking area which is extremely convenient for beachgoers.
Another of the Costa del Sol’s best beaches in Fuengirola is Torreblanca Beach which holds the Q for tourism quality and the Blue Flag award, with golden sand and calm waters. Finally, one of the most popular beaches among locals is Los Boliches Beach, also with a Blue Flag, where you can enjoy time as a family enjoying water sports or with friends playing volleyball.
Beaches in the west of the Costa del Sol
The western part of the province is home to some of the region’s most exotic beaches, with the best beach clubs, luxury hotels and the best gastronomy the area has to offer.
Beaches of Puerto Banus
The beaches of Puerto Banus are some of the most exclusive of the area in the east. Along a very short stretch of coast, we can find three well-known beaches near to the luxury José Banús Leisure Port: Río Verde beach, Puerto Banus beach and El Duque beach. All three have similar characteristics, being home to some of the most famous beach clubs in Marbella, as well as beach bars (chiringuitos) and all types of services in calm and shallow waters. While the first two are in the heart of Puerto Banus, El Duque beach is quieter, ideal for those looking to switch off and relax.
All of the details about the beaches of Puerto Banus and its surroundings are included in a special post about them.
Beaches of Marbella
Marbella is famous for its beach clubs where you can enjoy rhythm-filled sunsets by the sea, but also because it has some of the best beaches on the Costa del Sol. Several of them have been awarded the Blue Flag for the quality of their waters and the services they offer, such as the beaches of Casablanca, El Cable, El Faro and El Alicante.
Its urban beaches also stand out, located just a few metres from the heart of the city and surrounded by a multitude of places where you can eat in Marbella that amaze visitors, such as Nagüeles, Fontanilla or Ancón beach. Finally, another of the most famous beaches in the area are the naturist beach of Cabopino or Pinillo dog beach, ideal for visiting with our furry friends.
Details of these and other beaches of the Costa del Sol are included in this post on the beaches of Marbella.
Beaches of Estepona
Heading more towards the east, you can find other beaches with the Blue Flag award, including El Cristo, Arroyo Vaquero or La Rada beach, although the Costa Natura nudist beach is also a must, with an intimate atmosphere favoured by its more than 400 metres in length. If there is a beach on the Costa del Sol that travellers simply must visit, it has to be Bahía Dorada beach, with its colourful waters and carefully preserved environment.
For people wanting to lose themselves in the south of the province of Malaga, they can discover its most special beaches in this post about the best beaches of Estepona.
Beaches of Manilva
Bordering the province of Cadiz, we find the beaches of Manilva, which start to look like the golden beaches of the coast of Cadiz. Characterised for its ecological value, Punta Chullera beach offers visitors special crystal clear waters for underwater fishing. Other more crowded beaches are Sabinillas, Castillo or La Duqusa beach.
Beaches in the east of the Costa del Sol
In the popular region of Axarquía, we can find some of the Costa del Sol’s best beaches. Heading towards Granada, this region offers exquisitely preserved beaches to delight its inhabitants and visitors.
Beaches of Torrox
Moving from the capital towards the east of the province, there are many beaches of the Costa del Sol that are perhaps less well-known in terms of international tourism but which are home to true natural jewels on its coast. The best-known beaches of Torrox are Morche beach, surrounded by a ridge of dunes, Ferrara beach with a Blue Flag award and a plethora of facilities and services, or the quiet Calaceite beach, sheltered by cliffs.
Beaches of Nerja
Without a shadow of a doubt, these are some of the most popular beaches of the Costa del Sol because of their crystal clear waters. Starting with the jewel in the crown, Maro Beach offers travellers a perfectly preserved setting in which to enjoy water activities in its clean and transparent waters, as well as kayaking or diving.
However, for people looking for more urban beaches, Calahonda beach, situated below the famous Balcón de Europa (Balcony of Europe) and La Caleta beach are two of the most popular, with beach bars and services to offer visitors a complete day on the beach.
Those wanting to explore the area’s best kept treasures will be able to find all of the information in our article about the beaches of Nerja.
Map of the best beaches of the Costa del Sol
Along more than a hundred kilometres of coastline, the beaches of the Costa del Sol have a lot to offer visitors who come to them looking to switch off from routine and enjoy the lull of the waves. On this map, you can see some of the region’s most famous beaches and those that, thanks to their characteristics, promise to offer travellers a unique experience.